Imation SuperDisk LS-120 Drivers

SuperDisk was introduced by 3M's storage products group (later known as Imation) circa 1997 as a high-speed, high-capacity alternative to the 3.5", 1.44MB floppy disk. SuperDisk's main claim to fame was that it could read and write regular floppy disks just as well as its special disks.

The design came from a early 1990s project at Iomega, who was one of the last proponents of Floptical technology; it was orphaned around the time they decided to release the Zip drive in 1994. The idea eventually ended up at 3M, who cleaned it up and licensed the design to established floppy drive makers Matsushita and Mitsubishi. 3M/Imation mainly sold Matsushita-built drives under the SuperDisk name; other companies tended to use the LS-120 name, and sold the Mitsubishi drives.

The system was not a huge success, however. Few OEMs, notably Compaq, supported it. Most SuperDisk drives suffered from slow performance and reliability problems. The biggest problem, though, was that Iomega's Zip drive had been out for 3 years at that point, and was popular enough that few people wanted to switch formats.

By 2000 the entire removable-disk category was quickly being obsoleted by the falling prices of CD-R drives, and the SuperDisk was no exception; it has since been quietly discontinued, and the special disks, while still being made, are hard to find. A variant of the technology, the LS-240, is still sold in Asia and Australia; it has double the capacity and the added feature of being able to format regular floppy disks to 21MB capacity.

SuperDisk drives came in parallel port, USB and ATAPI variants. All drives can read and write 1.44MB and 720kB MFM floppies, as used on PCs, 1988-1998 Macintoshes, and many workstations.

SuperDisk should not be confused with SuperDrive, which is a trademark used by Apple Computer for various disk drive products.



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